Growth in South-east Asian meter market

Bharath Srinivasan,
Research Analyst,
Frost & Sullivan
Singapore — (METERING.COM) — May 4, 2007 – New analysis from consultants Frost & Sullivan suggests that increasing demand for power on the part of both large and small consumers in the South-east Asian region is driving the market for both single phase and three phase electricity meters. Approximately 5 million electricity meters are bought and sold in Southeast Asia annually, and the company says that high economic growth is responsible for much of the demand.

"The rate of growth in the different regional markets for electricity meters depends on the rate of construction of new residential and commercial buildings, as well as on the stage of privatization and deregulation in the national electricity supply industry," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Bharath Srinivasan.

Countries experiencing the fastest growth in their electricity meter markets are Indonesia and Vietnam, where basic power infrastructure is lacking and the growth in population and electricity demand warrants proportional investments in power distribution systems.

Indonesia generated maximum revenues for electromechanical meters in 2006. Vietnam is likely to catch up with its demand for electronic meters during the end of the forecast period.

The market is highly active with several public and private utilities, smaller municipalities, and electric cooperatives. Utilities are proving to be smarter with their electricity meter procurement strategies and the increasing market competition also adds to pricing pressure among manufacturers and suppliers of electricity meters. Their increasing bargaining capabilities have reduced the prices of electronic meters.

For instance, in Malaysia, frequent equipment price reviews, local competition, and tendering procedures have enabled the central utility Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) to have some control over the pricing on electricity meters. This effect of bargaining and controlling the prices in the market has been quite dynamic among the various countries in Southeast Asia.

Power distribution utilities are now overcoming their struggle to compare between products and pricing. They are finding it easier to evaluate tenders since they currently understand the specifications from suppliers. This increased knowledge of product and pricing is expected to improve as people opt for more advanced metering solutions and infrastructure or automatic meter reading systems.

"The combined effect of replacing electromechanical meters with electronic ones and multifold growth in the power distribution sector is expected to fuel the electricity meters market in the long term," notes Srinivasan.